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Friday, July 24, 2015

Brown Calls for Upgrade of Train Cars to Avoid Spills of Oil, Hazardous Materials

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday called for doing more to get rid of older railcars transporting hazardous materials to better protect Ohio communities. 
“We’ve seen too many derailments of trains with unsafe cars, often carrying crude oil and other hazardous material. It’s time to put a stop to these dangerous and costly spills,” Brown said in a teleconference. 
“That’s why I introduced legislation that would help reduce risks to communities near railroad tracks by phasing-out older tank cars, providing a tax credit to help companies upgrade to newer, safer cars and help communities better prepare for accidents,” he said. 
Up to 50 trains per week carrying volatile crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale pass through Ohio on their way to East Coast refineries. 
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that trains carrying crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times per year for the next 20 years, causing as much as $4 billion in property damage.
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The danger of transporting crude oil by train is certainly a very legitimate concern.  Of course, the upgrades Brown is calling for have a cost, and the article goes on to note that the funding would come from a $175-per-shipment fee on older tank cars.

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